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'Would you negotiate with Hitler?': Poland's PM questions Macron over Putin dialogue

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU summit in March.
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU summit in March.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has slammed France's Emmanuel Macron for keeping a channel of dialogue open with Vladimir Putin.

Paris has advocated maintaining an open channel of dialogue with the Russian president on top of EU sanctions.

According to the Elysée Palace, Macron has spoken to Putin at least 16 times since the start of the year.

But the Polish PM has described Russia under Putin as a “totalitarian-fascist state” and called for strong actions “that will finally break Putin’s war machine”.

"President Macron, how many times have you negotiated with Putin? What have you achieved?" said Morawiecki.

“Would you negotiate with [Adolf] Hitler, with [Joseph] Stalin, with Pol Pot?” he asked during a speech in Kraków.

The French President has echoed other European leaders in stating that there is “clear evidence of war crimes” in Bucha, outside of Kyiv, where bodies of dozens of civilians have been discovered.

“I’m in favour of a new round of sanctions and in particular on coal and gasoline, we need to act,” Macron told France-Inter radio.

But Morawiecki has called for an international commission of inquiry into "genocide" allegedly committed by the Russian army in Ukrainian cities.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rejected the allegations, describing the scenes outside Kyiv as a “stage-managed anti-Russian provocation”.

Meanwhile, the French Minister for European Affairs has defended the government's stance on dialogue to try and develop a humanitarian operation or achieve a ceasefire.

"The responsibility of France, which holds the presidency of the European Union ... is to seize this narrow opportunity for dialogue," said Clément Beaune.

"It is not complicity, and we will do so in a transparent way with our European partners," he told RFI.

The French government has also denied rumours of division within the bloc and says that EU sanctions on Russian have been agreed upon unanimously.

On Tuesday, Beaune reiterated France's desire for the EU to "rapidly" impose sanctions on Russian coal and oil.

"We hold the presidency of the EU. We have to build an agreement among 27. It is sometimes frustrating because it is long," he said.

According to Moarwiecki, Germany has been the "main obstacle to very strong sanctions" on Russia due to its reliance on gas imports.

The Polish Prime Minister has also criticised former German Chancellor Angela Merkel for having remained "silent since the beginning of the war".

Additional sources • EFE